Mar 13

Our First Harvest

[Article and photos by Dr Abner Tlakula, owner of Ribola aquaponics facility in Limpopo, South Africa]

Deep Blue Aquatic Systems (Pty) Ltd installed the “Ribola RAS” in mid 2015. The people of Elim, a village in the Vhembe District of Limpopo, were very sceptical when they learnt that the whole thing was to grow fish in, very much like some farmers grow chicken. Would fragile fish survive and grow in such a confined space? And if some survived who would eat the fish? Members of the community do not eat fresh fish,Tinned fish yes, but not fish kept like a pet!!
Three thousand fingerlings arrived about March 2016. The RAS gave very little to worry about, the pumps worked well and the back up generator kicked in without fail when there was a power failure. Our young manager was confident with feeding the fish and doing measurements of water quality which he recorded. The only measure of the fish health was the enthusiastic response to the feed, apart from two red fish in one of our four tanks, nothing was visible!! It was farming in the dark, we had to feed the fish to demonstrate life in the tanks. It was only after adopting a simple system of filtering the water, copied from a fish farmer in Kyasands in February 2017 that we could at last see the fish. (So effective was the filtration, one could clearly see the clean bottom of the tank , attesting to the self cleaning abilities of the RAS.)
We decided to harvest the fish in January 2017, for various reasons the harvest could only start in February 2017. We emptied most of the water, using a submersible pump, into a 5000L tank that was installed for the purpose, to save water. The harvest went well, the fish is between 200g and 350g. The farm is located in close proximity to a bustling transport node, two large shopping centres and a district hospital. We were bought out of our first harvest within two days, part of the first of our four tanks.


Sep 26

New Quarantine Facility at the Two Oceans Aquarium

We recently completed some work for the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. Its been super working with them. They run an amazing aquarium with some stunning exhibits and they are a great bunch of people to work with.

The installation included 5 separate quarantine units, each with their own filtration including our custom made fibreglass foam fractionators/protein skimmers. Each system can be run on flow through or on recirculation.

The installation also included a 6th system that is for turtles. Once again the system has the ability to run all 6 tanks on recirculation or if necessary to run on flow through.

Take a look at the photos below of the turtle system and two of the fish systems.

Thanks again go to Two Oceans Aquarium for giving us the opportunity to supply and install the systems.

img_1228 img_1239

Aug 29

FF2200 Foam fractionator

My last blog post showed one of our FF2200 foam fractionators (protein skimmer) on its way to site. So I thought I would put a slightly better photo of the FF2200. Its difficult to get an idea of the size of the unit without a person standing in front of it.

Standing tall at approx 3.2m high and 2.2m diameter. All done in HDPE and finished off with sockets or stub & flange configuration for easy connection to your existing systems.

Lead times on these units is usually 2 – 3 weeks.

Perfect for treating sea water that needs to be squeaky clean. Live-holding units for rock lobster etc, aquariums and aquaculture installations.

The FF2200 standing in our workshop with  Derrick, one of our technicians.

The FF2200 standing in our workshop with Derrick, one of our technicians.

Aug 25

FF2200 Protein Skimmers delivered to Abalone farm

We recently delivered two of our FF2200 foam fractionators (protein skimmers) to an abalone farm in the Western Cape. The protein skimmers will be used to clean up incoming sea water, foaming off fines that are suspended in the water column.

The units are moulded in HDPE and are approx 2.2m diameter and 3.2m tall. They are specified to handle between 100 and 120m3 of sea water per hour.

We have a number of these units installed at various locations in aquaculture or live holding applications. We also make a variety of fibreglass foam fractionator units ranging from 500mm diameter up to 1500mm diameter.

FF2200 protein skimmer in transit to an abalone farm.

FF2200 protein skimmer in transit to an abalone farm.

Aug 10

Faivre Drumfilter installed at DAFF marine fish hatchery


Faivre 4-80 "in-tank" drumfilter in duplex stainless steel and HDPE tank

Faivre 4-80 “in-tank” drumfilter in duplex stainless steel and HDPE tank

Two weeks back we installed a Faivre 4-80 “in-tank” drumfilter at the DAFF (Dept Agric Fisheries and Forestry) marine aquaculture hatchery in Hamburg in the Eastern Cape. This is a government project run by the DAFF aquaculture department on dusky kob (Argyrosomus japonicus).

DAFF were having some issues with the filtration systems being unable to deliver the necessary water quality. We were fortunate to win the tender to supply a new drumfilter. As the Southern African agents for Faivre, we tendered on the supply of the 4-80 “in-tank” unit in duplex stainless steel and titanium with HDPE tank. The unit is suitable for the warm water seen on the East Coast.

Take a look at the video clips below taken on the day the drumfilter was installed and the morning thereafter.

Please contact us should you require an info on Faivre’s drumfilters. Alternatively you can take a look at Faivre’s website.



Apr 21

Two Dam Sustainable article in Agri Kultuur online magazine

Two Dam Sustainable trout farm article in Agri Kultuur magazine

Two Dam Sustainable trout farm article in Agri Kultuur magazine

Take a look at the article on the Two Dam Sustainable (TDS) trout farm, in the March edition of Agri Kultuur online magazine. (Click the link to view the article – go to page 12 of the magazine).

Two Dam Sustainable is a trout farm in the Montague area of the Western Cape. TDS has no access to mains (Eskom) power and hence has to make use of alternative energy, using solar PV and a water turbine, with a low pressure gas generator as a back-up.


Apr 21

Monitoring and Control article in Agri Kultuur online magazine

For those of you interested in reading about monitoring and control systems for aquaculture, please take a look at the article we wrote in the February edition of the Agri Kultuur online magazine. (Click the link to view the article – go to page 12 of the magazine).


Monitoring and Control Systems article

Monitoring and Control Systems article

Feb 12

Faivre drum filters arrive in Keetmanshoop

Faivre 4-80 frame mounted drum filter

Faivre 4-80 frame mounted drum filter

Over the past few months we have delivered much of the materials for the fish farm to be built at Fonteintjie in Keetmanshoop Namibia.

Just last weekend we off loaded our two Faivre 4-80 series frame mounted drum filters which will form part of the recirculation systems on this tilapia farm.

The drum filters are 304 stainless steel with 63 micron nylon mesh drum sieve plates. The units were shipped from France via Walvis Bay over the Christmas period.

We look forward to installing these when the building and concrete sumps are ready in the next couple of weeks.


Jan 13

Something to think about!

  • “Aquaculture is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It is like all primary production sectors a highly competitive industry with high entry costs, high risks and 24/7 hard work”.

I took this from the Land based Aquaculture Assessment Framework website ( Thought it was particularly pertinent.

Take a look at the LBAAF site. There are some useful economic models on a couple of the species grown in New Zealand.

Jan 08

Langhoogte Trout Farm Gets Great Reviews

Some months back we commissioned a trout recirculation system for Marco and his father Uwe Harms on Langhoogte Farm in the Montague area. Whats interesting about the RAS system is that it is run on alternative energy as there is an absence of mains power on the farm – more about that some other time.

Marco and his wife Vivian have been running the farm producing trout which they smoke and sell in the local area. The reviews on the quality of their smoked trout have been good! Here are a couple of comments they have received.

From Dave in Riversdale by email to Vivian: ‘The trout were quite superb- if I could be more flattering I would be!’’. I happened to bump into Dave on the beach in Hermanus over the Xmas holidays. I think the word is used to describe the trout was “exceptional”. 

From Grant, a travel agent and restaurant owner in Montague: ’I had the most AMAZING smoked Rainbow Trout during the course of last week. Farmed, Smoked and distributed locally by Marco and Vivian from Langhoogte Farm. I do not often recommend food products but this was sublime and I don’t use that word lightly either.”

You can get hold of Marco or Vivian on email langhoogtefarm(at) if you want to try out their smoked trout.

Marco and family with smoked trout at the Montagu Christmas Market

Marco and family with smoked trout at the Montagu Christmas Market

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